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Date: Saturday, December 7 Venue: St Mary’s Stadium Kick-Off: 15:00
Can Manchester City avenge their 3-1 defeat in this corresponding fixture last season when they travel to Southampton in the Premier League?
Southampton’s injury crisis has worsened after Victor Wanyama suffered a hairline fracture of the leg and Nathaniel Clyne injured his pelvis in the midweek defeat to Aston Villa.
Jose Fonte is a doubt though Gaston Ramirez is back in contention after recovering from illness.
Manchester City’s Vincent Kompany should retain his place in the starting XI after returning from injury on Wednesday but Matija Nastasic, David Silva and Stevan Jovetic are all sidelined with calf injuries.
Southampton’s 3-1 victory over Manchester City in the corresponding fixture last season was Mauricio Pochettino’s first win in charge.
City are on a run of three consecutive victories, their best run under Manuel Pellegrini.
Southampton are on a run of three consecutive defeats, their worst run under Pochettino.
Pellegrini’s side have won just two matches away from home in this season’s Premier League (W2, D1, L4).
Gazzaniga, Lovren, Fonte, Shaw, Yoshida, Lallana, Ward-Prowse, Davis, Ramirez, Lambert, Rodriguez
Pantilimon, Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy, Nasri, Toure, Fernandinho, Navas, Aguero, Negredo
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As Southampton approached a hectic winter schedule, their most recent run of fixtures always looked difficult on paper, and were perhaps a test of their credentials to finish in the top 5 this season.
Unfortunately for the previously-high-flying Saints, they failed that test with three consecutive defeats to Arsenal, Chelsea and Aston Villa, which has taken the wind out of Mauricio Pochettino’s sails somewhat.
Now they face City and are in real danger of making it four defeats out of four on Saturday.
Pochettino’s men will take some comfort however from the fact they beat their visitors in this corresponding fixture 3-1 last season and will certainly show the pluck that made them so difficult to break down against Arsenal.
But a devastating run of injuries hasn’t helped and a side that once boasted the best defensive record in Europe has now conceded eight in three games.
Against a City team who have scored 10 more goals than any other side in the division and 12 in their last three league games, I’m backing the Saints’ losing run to continue.
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